Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos convicted of defrauding investors, is seeking to delay the start of her 11-year prison sentence because she has “two very young children” to be with.
The court filing last week represents the first public acknowledgment that Holmes gave has given birth to her second child. Holmes was pregnant during her November 2022 sentencing.
Her lawyers laid out several reasons to delay the prison sentence pending an appeal of her conviction, arguing that she’s not a flight risk or a danger to the community. It also said she has “two young children,” but didn’t reveal when her second child was born or their gender.
In a January filing, prosecutors said Holmes attempted to flee to Mexico.
“The government became aware on January 23, 2022, that Defendant Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, without a scheduled return trip,” the court filing states. “Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel was the trip canceled.”
Holmes’ criminal trial was initially delayed from March 2021 to August 2021 because she was pregnant with her first child. She’s been married to her husband Billy Evans since 2019.
Last year, Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing startup Theranos. The sentence also includes a fine of $400, or $100 for each count of fraud. Restitution will be set at a later date.
Holmes was ordered to turn herself into custody on April 27, 2023 and is appealing her conviction. A hearing has been scheduled for March 17.
Holmes started Theranos in 2003 at the age of 19 and soon thereafter dropped out of Stanford University to pursue the company full-time. After a decade under the radar, Holmes began courting the press with claims that Theranos had invented technology that could accurately and reliably test for a range of conditions using just a few drops of blood taken from a finger prick.
Theranos raised $945 million from an impressive list of investors, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Walmart’s Walton family and the billionaire family of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. At its peak, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, making Holmes a billionaire on paper. She was lauded on magazine covers, frequently wearing a signature black turtleneck that invited comparisons to late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
The company began to unravel after a Wall Street Journal investigation in 2015 found Theranos had only ever performed roughly a dozen of the hundreds of tests it offered using its proprietary blood testing device, and with questionable accuracy. Instead, Theranos was relying on third-party manufactured devices from traditional blood testing companies.